This afternoon’s press conference with the Canadian womens hockey team regarding their gold medal win last night was heavily focused on two topics: the way the women celebrated last night and the future of their sport in the Olympics.
The Future of Womens Hockey
IOC President Jacques Rogge commented on the unlevel playing field in womens hockey and that blowouts (I’m assuming like the 18-0 Canadian win over Slovakia) are not conducive to fair Olympic play.
At the press conference the ladies addressed this, noting that when men’s hockey started out it was Canada and the Soviets that dominated but that the rest of the world caught up. Switzerland is now a contender, Sweden and Finland consistently place well and even cause a few upsets. Women’s hockey is still growing and with expanded European and international play, Marie-Philip Poulin said that it can only get more tough to compete.
It was reported that after the public left Canada Hockey Place the celebrations from the locker room spilled onto the ice. Caroline Ouelette told the press that the team has celebrated in that fashion after the last three Olympics. They pose for photos with logos on the ice and they all bask in their Olympic moment.
The issue is that the team did so on the ice and did not keep their champagne and beer drinking confined to the locker room. One reporter asked, “what kind of role models are you then?” The ladies replied tactfully that they waited until all public had left, they did not mean to disrespect anyone, and they have apologized. However, it was also noted that some underage players were seen with beer cans in hand.
With gold medals gleaming around their necks, these women gracefully responded to each question with poise and confidence. I’d love to hear how parents and public view this celebration.